Now Commenting On:

{"content":["spring_training" ] }

Heads-up Romero making progress

Heads-up Romero making progress

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- J.C. Romero might not be ready to pitch by Opening Day, but he learned Wednesday he still has his reflexes.

Romero, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his left elbow, threw to hitters for the first time this spring on Wednesday morning at the Carpenter Complex. Francisco Diaz, a Minor League catcher from Venezuela, smacked Romero's second pitch up the middle.

Romero got his glove up in time to catch it.

"Welcome back!" Phillies advisor Pat Gillick joked from behind the batting cage as Romero stumbled off the mound.

After Romero recovered, he kiddingly asked Diaz if he spoke Spanish. When Diaz nodded yes, Romero told him in Spanish to try pulling the ball. Twenty-three pitches later, Romero walked off the mound in good spirits.

"No setbacks," Romero said. "That's for sure."

He is scheduled to throw more batting practice Friday or Saturday. Opening Day on April 5 remains a long shot, but Romero said he would not rule out the possibility. Romero has said in the past that he hopes to be ready for the team's April 12-15 series against the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park.

"I won't rush to get into games," he said. "I will pitch in a game when my body tells me that I'm ready to go. Ninety-five percent won't cut it. I've got to be 100 percent.

"Right now, I'm good. I'm going through everything I need to do with no pain. I'm happy with everything that's going on right now."

Utley still out: Second baseman Chase Utley has not played since Monday because of an upper respiratory infection, but he took batting practice and fielded ground balls Wednesday. The Phillies are off Thursday, so he will not play until Friday at the earliest.

Polanco feels better: Third baseman Placido Polanco, who sprained his right knee Monday, said he continues to feel better. He said he could play as early as Friday.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español